Mid-February Warm Up

We’re almost 1/2 way through February.
Today is a balmy -8*c.
Compared to last week’s deep, deep freeze, this is positively t-shirt weather!
I, of course, celebrate days like this with open windows and loud music…and a few pictures.

Ruby decided to have a nap in the straw bale.
Those ears tell me she wasn’t happy about my disturbing her with the camera.
After all this time, she oughta be used to it.
πŸ˜‰

And then I captured this little one…

Fluff!!

This feline showed up in the Fall and moved into the garage.
S/he had a grand time chewing on a pig head that was left in the grass after butchering through the winter…
S/he also was enjoying meals in the garage during the coldest of days.
As always, when a newbie shows up, whether they arrive on their own or are dumped here, everybody eats.
And, once the weather settles out a bit more towards spring, we’ll trap this one and take them to the vet for spay/neuter and a check up.

Still trying to wait patiently for Spring.
This round of nice weather has me antsy to start getting things going, but I know it’s too early for plants, and there’s too much snow for building.
So I’m working on props for my Kid’s b-day photo shoot with her horse.
In 1 week they turn 18.
That needs to be marked with photos.
πŸ™‚

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Tired…But Hopeful for Spring

I don’t know about anyone else, but I’m tired of talking about the weather. Not that there’s much else to talk about these days, with how the weather dominates everything we do at this time of year.

Honestly, how can we *not* talk about -40*c temperatures?
With windchills in the mid to high -50*c range?
How we survived it for near on to a week, with very few little glitches?
How the Merry Mares came through with kicking, bucking, galloping, playing colours?
And now how we’re under a snowfall warning and could see as much as 8 inches of snow by tomorrow morning?
But we’re lucky where we are, because south of us, they could see upwards of 15 inches…so there’s that.

It’s tiring though, when we’re longing for spring and sunshine and warmth that doesn’t come from the furnace…

In 25 days I will start my pepper seeds.
2 weeks after that, I will start my tomato seeds.
I’m clinging to that, because that’s my sign of spring is coming.
I’ve been ready to start seeds for months.
I’ve studied what worked last year, what I can do better with this year, and made my list of what I need to buy for seeds to get going.
I’ve been diligently cleaning the horse shelter to grow the compost pile to add to the garden next fall.
I’ve also been on top of the household compost and look forward to it cooking down some once the melt hits.
Then I can clean out the poultry coop and put the bedding/waste in the bottom of the bin when we move it.

We never did get a fence built around the garden, so I’m hoping to get that done this year. We found a couple of dog run style chain link set ups this past summer, and I’m hoping to use one of those.
I really want to be able to pen the poultry into the garden at the end of the year to act as the clean up crew.
Makes my life so much easier in the spring!

In the meantime, since it’s been way too cold to take the camera out to capture the Merry Mare’s in their playing glory, The Kid and dressed up the cats.
Nancy was not happy and none of his shots turned out…unless you like flaily blurs of tabby running away from the camera.
πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚

Daisy Mae, however….


And this one…


Next up, I’m going to crochet her a little hat and scarf set.
A chicken hat.

There’s a reason for it to be a chicken hat…

See that chicken in the back?
The light coloured one?
That’s Lemon Chicken.
That’s her name. She’s one of my green egg layers.
She’s also a brat who loves to come up on the deck and eat the cat food I put out for the outdoor cats.
Well, we’ve had some rather lovely days, where she’s been wandering about the yard like she likes to do.
One of those days, I came back from collecting eggs in the coop to find her at the back door, having a conversation with little miss Daisy Mae through the door.
There was cooing and chirping from Lemon Chicken and mewing and other odd noises from Daisy Mae…
Un-fricken-believable.
The cat and the chicken have decided they’re pals.

So, once things warm up enough that Lemon Chicken starts free ranging again (even though she’s *supposed* to stay in the chicken yard), the plan is for the unlikely friends to have a face to face meeting.
And Daisy Mae will be wearing a crocheted chicken hat.
Hilarity oughta ensue.

 

A Little Farm Update

Dry.
Dry.
Dry.

It’s really dry here. We need rain something fierce.
For growth, to stop fires, for overall health.

But, in the midst of the dry, we do have some growth happening on the fruit trees…and, we’ve (finally) moved the chicks into the chicken coop.
YAY!!!

Apples are starting to leaf out…

Honeyberries are blossoming…

Red currants are popping with leaves…

And because our red currant bushes are so new, they’re still rather small. Which makes them easy prey to fall to Daphne…

Pail protecting a newer currant bush…

I had a few extra 3 gallon pails, so I cut the bottoms out and used them the shield the plants from the turbo power of the Daphne running them over. πŸ˜‰

Finally…
The best news!
All chicks have vacated the house, and the garage.
Chicken coop renos are done and they have moved into their new, and permanent home.
Just because I’m mean, I laughed at the few hennys we have left and said “Your replacements have arrived!!”
Hahahahaha!!!
πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚

Onward and upward to the next task…

Getting the garden tilled so we can plant my HUGE tomato plants.
I hope this bodes well for a bountiful harvest!

I’ve never really viewed myself as particularly talented.
I’ve viewed myself as slightly above average in talent.
~ Will Smith

Sunshine

I cannot tell you how much I’m loving these longer days.
I mean I could, but words aren’t quite enough, I think, to explain how much the sunshine is a balm for the Spirit.

We call Astrid “Little Red” for a reason…as she sheds out her winter coat, she shines like a copper penny.
Here I was looking to capture the glow of the sun on her emerging blonde streak.

This is what grabbed my attention, and drew me to grab the camera, the other day.
Her mane was gently floating in the breeze while she ate her beet pulp. It looked so pretty, I simply had to capture the image.


After finishing her bucket, she moved over to lick out what was left of Astrid’s pail, which gave me a chance to get this shot.
I can’t wait until Sable is fully shed out, with her golden summer coat and those gorgeous dapples.
I have photographic plans for her. πŸ˜‰

And, thankfully, she’s a cooperative model and works for food, snuggles and scratches.

 

Prolific

“…an artist who creates
lots of work
probably experiences
prolific days and
slower days”
~ Buffy Sainte-Marie

100% truth.
Which is why it’s nice to have images that I haven’t edited yet both on the hard drives(s) and the memory card.
I don’t always get a chance to get out, camera in hand.
Life is incredibly busy this time of year, y’know?
When I don’t I can still share images from the FarmYard…

The SuperModel of mares…

Covered in muck and manure, only half shed out, lying in a pile of straw and she looks like a model…that mane blowing perfectly in the gentle breeze, ears to me and looking right at the camera.
That Sable is a photographer’s Dream!

Eyes closed, basking in the sunshine…

*sigh*
So. Damn. Pretty.
πŸ’ž

Chicks

Yesterday, the first of our chicks arrived.

Look at that box of cuteness and happiness. πŸ™‚
18 of ’em.
Now, they’re too young to tell who’s male or female…or at least they are for a newbie like me…so I’m sure we’ll have a few roosters in the mix.
My hope is for at least 6 hens, and that they lay green and/or blue eggs.
And, if we get a nice rooster out of the bunch, we may just keep him around.

How adorable is that little face?

Next up, we have to order our standard brown layers (which we’re also starting as chicks this year) and a first round of meat chickens.

It’s looking to be a busy summer, prepping for next winter.
One can never start too soon when the growing seasons are short!

Sharing with McGuffy’s Reader for Sparks:28 and Comedy Plus for Aww Mondays.